After Trump’s ‘library’ jibe, NSA Afghanistan praises India’s efforts towards economic development

India US 2+2 Inter-Sessional meet , Defence, India US, Bilateral issues, Foreign Policy

National Security Adviser of Afghanistan Dr Hamdullah Mohib is visiting India at the invitation of NSA Ajit Doval from 3 to 5 January 2019. During the visit, he lavished praises on the peaceful Indian efforts in Afghanistan. The visit came right after the mocking remarks made by US President Donald Trump in which insulted Indian efforts and PM Modi.

US President Donald Trump made comments true to his character during a press appearance at a cabinet meeting. He not just mocked India for building a ‘library’ but also insulted Afghans when he said it was of no use. We do know the library is for ‘reading’ and ‘acquiring knowledge’ but is Trump suggesting that no Afghan wants to read?

Afghans are seething with anger, and rightly som while New Delhi is perplexed about the alleged ‘library’ it is building which it has no idea about!

Googling the alleged library built by India gives no results so the said library is just another of the White Elephant of Trump.

During the press meet, Trump said that he shared good relations with the Indian Prime Minister but took jibe at a library, which not New Delhi, but Trump was building for his supporters. After all, how can America become Great Again without belittling the efforts of the rest? Typical!

Library? What Library?

Trump rambled on the White Elephant project of his and mocked PM Modi and India stating that the said library is just five-hours of what the USA has spent (ignoring the fact that part of Afghanistan has been laid waste by the war on terror imposed by the USA). Further on, Trump said that Americans are expected to say thank you for the project while adding that ‘I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan.”

While the USA and its allies turned Afghanistan into a war zone, India has committed $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan.

Educational projects, construction of Afghan Parliament, and reconstruction of Salma Dam have cemented India and Afghanistan’s ties despite the best efforts of terrorists to derail them.

But the worse that Trump said was not about India but about Afghanistan, when he said that USSR went bankrupt and became Russia because of Afghanistan hinting at a pull out in the worst possible fashion.

Trump also said that the reason Russia was in Afghanistan was that terrorists were getting into Russia hence, the Russians were right to be there. The problem was that it was a tough fight.

The comments ring hollow as the former US President Ronald Reagan had termed the invasion as an attempt to spread communism and USA also aided the insurgents to fight the Soviet troops, but Trump only wants to blame Afghanistan while wriggling USA free. Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, took notice of these comments and said that the Soviet occupation was a grave violation of Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty. Any other claim defies historical facts. The invasion was condemned by UN and the international community. Heroic resistance and sacrifice of millions of Afghans for freedom and independence are ingrained in history.

Dr Hamdullah Mohib, in the background of all this, is therefore very significant.

NSAs of India and Afghanistan held a detailed exchange of views about the developments in Afghanistan. NSA Mohib briefed the Indian side about the security situation, the holding of Parliamentary elections and scheduled Presidential elections, and efforts of the Government of Afghanistan at peace and reconciliation. He appreciated the assistance provided by India for economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan and also for human resource development, including training of Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in India.

NSA Doval conveyed India’s continued support for the efforts of the Government and the people of Afghanistan to bring peace, security and prosperity in that country. He mentioned that India supports all efforts for peace and reconciliation that are Afghan owned, Afghan led and Afghan controlled. Regional and international partners of Afghanistan need to work keeping in mind the priorities, wishes and desire of the Afghan people. India welcomes the fact that the people of Afghanistan have time and again reposed faith in democratic governance and the forthcoming Presidential elections in Afghanistan will further deepen the roots of democracy in Afghanistan.

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The Afghan NSA then invited Doval to visit Afghanistan. The invitation was accepted and dates would be decided later.

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Namta Gupta